Helios and Nikon


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Helios and Nikon

31 Aug 2021 3:18PM   Views : 430 Unique : 303


the adaptor to fit the Helios lens (see previous blogs and pictures) to a Nikon cost the princely sum of £3.95. That seemed a reasonable amount to risk on an uncertain experiment.

And I’m delighted to say that the experiment was successful, in terms of the lens achieving infinity focus without any funny business with a recessed adaptor or supplementary lenses in a converter. My reservations are entirely to do with the crop-frame format of my Nikon D7000 (which therefore has a less extensive out-of-focus area than a full-frame sensor) and the difficulty of using any Manual focus lens with any DSLR.


But if you own a Helios lens that you’re happy to play with, and a Nikon camera its probably worth getting yourself an adaptor like the one I got from eBay. Often, but there is a concern that unbranded third party adaptors will jam on the camera, but mine proved to be a nice fit giving the positive engagement with the camera’s bayonet mechanism, and with a nice easy action to the screw thread for the lens.

A really good design feature is that the adaptor extends beyond the cameras bayonet mount and has a serrated edge giving a really good finger grip. Even without a lens it’s trivially simple to remove from the bayonet mount. I’d say it’s easier to use than any of the adaptors I have for my Sony E-Mount cameras.


The brief test that I carried out suggests that infinity focus coincides with the three or four metre marks on the lens focus scale, but this may very from lens to lens and depend on exactly how you seated the front lens element when you reversed it. But you will definitely be able to achieve infinity focus, and the lens will also focus nice and close. Yet again, if you’re in any doubt just give it a try: £3.95 including postage isn’t much of a risk.

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PaulCox Avatar
1 Sep 2021 10:03AM
Even the M42 to Nikon adapters with a correction lens built in can be acquired quite cheaply these days on the aforementioned auction site. Paul.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
1 Sep 2021 10:37AM
Thanks, Paul. I'd say the problem may be that a cheap correction lens will degrade results significantly - and although that won't matter with a converted Helios, it'll be a bit of a bugger with the nicely-corrected SMC Takumars that one might want to try.

For those who seek a simple conversion, there are also recessed adaptor plates to allow normal infinity focus, and although I've not tried one, I suspect that the quality will be much higher, and the disadvantages minimal - apart from the difficulty of focussing with any DSLR. They're still under a tenner... They depend on the fact that lens throats have tended to get wider over the years, and the M42 mount predates the Nikon bayonet by some years, so the screw-thread lens fits neatly inside the Nikon canera's throat..

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